They shot out of the gates fast.
Denard Robinson broke a quick 41-yard dash on the second play of the game, setting the Jaguars up at Miami's 35-yard line. Jordan Todman then picked up 5 more yards on a two-play sequence, presenting the Jags with 3rd and 5 from the Phins’ 30.
Jedd Fisch called a quick timeout in an effort to gather team composure after the swift start.
Looking back, this point in the game appears more crucial now than it did at the time. The Jaguars had already torn the game wide open, and the last thing they wanted to do was stall.
The Dolphins defense was already gasping for air. The Jaguars were now sitting in prime position to take a shot on 3rd and relatively short.
Fisch's play call that followed the timeout was, surprisingly, both beautiful and very well executed. Bortles sets up in shotgun. The right side (Harbor and Todman) is set to protect. The receiver routes are laid out below.
Bortles already has his heart set on the deep bomb to Allen Robinson, lined up outside. Cecil Shorts is going to pull the Dolphins’ secondary down with his deep out route.
After the ball is snapped, the O-line does a beautiful job containing the rush while the routes develop. Bortles keeps his eyes downfield, conducting his offense as if there is no pressure at all. It's a beautiful sight, and one that we weren't presented with very often last season. Take a look at the open space:
When Bortles steps up to throw, seconds later, it's still as if he's the only player on that side of the field.
Bortles releases the ball before Allen Robinson even breaks for the endzone. Shorts and A-Rob are actually crossing paths at the point of the release. Sanders is relatively open underneath on his short out route, but Bortles has made up his mind. It’s the right decision, as the safety overtop has his eyes glued to Shorts and has already been beat.
A-Rob breaks for the open and ends up all alone. The opportunity to snatch the early momentum is delivered right to his hands.
It’s a tough catch, but Robinson has to make this one. He just has to. The pass from Blake is not a work of art, but it is lofted over the defense and drops right on top of A-Rob.
Watch the play in full speed here:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Missed opportunity last year. 3rd down, pocket holds, beautiful route. FG try is blocked next play. <a href="https://t.co/ev1800FzcK">https://t.co/ev1800FzcK</a></p>— Cole Hartley (@ColeFartley) <a href="https://twitter.com/ColeFartley/status/624962748108115968">July 25, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The Jaguars fail to convert this 3rd down, leaving Scobee to attempt a 48-yard field goal on the next play.
It is blocked.
Capitalizing on opportunities as an offense goes a long way to maintaining momentum and creating production. On this occasion during week 8, the Jaguars fail to take advantage of the opportunity presented to them.
The hope moving forward, of course, is that the Jaguars can capitalize on these opportunities on a more consistent basis. There's a variety of components within this play that point to a very bright future. The O-line forms a legitimate wall, gifting Bortles with enough time to make a decent throw. A-Rob burns the defense, and Blake recognizes the unfolding play before it actually unfolds.
All that’s left now for the team is to find a way to finish these plays. More weapons on offense should open the field up for the Jaguars, and another year of experience -- as well as another season of opportunity -- for the young offense should lead to more success in situations such as this.
At least, that's the hope.